I live in a very nice “suburban” style subdivision which honestly, before I moved in – I had no idea even existed. I joked that this must be the one and only subdivision in Pensacola that I have never done a party in! I knew the subdivision was large, having been told the story that there we actually three “phases” and I had moved into the third and final “phase.” I had never really thought about what size a “phase” would be – I really had no idea JUST how large it is. Until today.
I set out a little before 9am before it was too hot to just have a nice “ride around the neighborhood.” I discovered that if I went into each cul-de-sac that they were all uphill, so I could get a good little workout and then “coast” while I let my legs rest for a few seconds before pedaling again. I was probably about 20 minutes into my ride when I saw a sign that said “No Outlet” so I assumed it was another cul-de-sac. What it should have said was “Point Of No Return.”
I am not sure how long it took me to realize that I was completely, utterly lost, but when the realization hit, I nearly panicked. I had been mesmerized looking at houses, the beautifully manicured lawns, pretty landscaping. I looked around me and realized I had absolutely NO idea where I was, where I was headed, or even what direction “home” was. I remember thinking I should take my phone in case anyone called – but I was “only going to be a few minutes” so I left it. I remember wishing I had my GPS.
I saw no signs of life – not even a car in a driveway, so there was no one to even ask for directions.I kept pedaling though, thinking eventually I would have to at least find a street name I would recognize. I started thinking that this bike ride was turning into a Gilligan’s Island tour and cracked up – nearly wrecking the bicycle. It was a good thing no one was there to see – they may have taken me in for lunacy.
By this time my legs were KILLING me. If you read my Tweets or Facebook about buying the bike, I mentioned how it had probably been 10 years since I had ridden a bicycle. Needless to say, when I woke up this morning, I had no intention of working my legs to the point of Jell-O.
Finally, nearly an hour later, I saw a familiar street. Though I was crushed that I realized I was still a LONG ways from home, it was inspiring to at least see something I recognized. I talked my legs into continuing to pedal, and a little while later I was coasting (thankfully) into my driveway.
As I got in the shower I was amused thinking about how my little ride had been so metaphorical with my life lately. I will admit, I got LOST a few weeks ago. I am not afraid to admit it. I was looking for a way to lighten the load and “coast” through a couple parts of my life that I was tired of working on. I started thinking of different paths, different behaviors, instead of focusing on the things that mattered most – like my direction.
We all get off course, take a wrong turn, or make the wrong choice that leaves us with a sense of being lost. We abandon a course when we think there might be a “faster” or “easier” way to achieve the goal, often resulting in failure. What I learned today is if you “just keep pedaling” – you can find your way back, get back on the right path, and make it home. You may get some bumps and bruises (or INCREDIBLY sore Jell-O legs!) along the way, but it will make “coasting in to home” that much sweeter.
If you have abandoned your path, fallen off the wagon, or let some things slide – I encourage you to “just keep pedaling” to find your way back. Tomorrow I will set out on my bicycle again – with not only the knowledge of where NOT to turn, but also with the confidence that if I get lost again, that I can – and will – find my way home.